The BEST 12 Vitamins for Diabetes


Discover the best 12 vitamins for diabetes support in this article to maintaining optimal health and managing blood sugar.

The BEST 12 Vitamins for Diabetes

Diabetic patients are at high risk of nerve damage, problems with eyes, heart, and the kidneys. For this reason, it’s important to know what kind of vitamins you need to protect your body against these complications. In this article, we use the word “Vitamins” broadly to include nutrients such as antioxidants and herbal remedies. Some of these are available as supplements, while others are present in certain vegetables, meats, fruits, and natural foods. Be advised this article is for educational purposes only, so do speak to your doctor if you plan to supplement along with your medication.


Do you know what diabetes is?
The word diabetes refers to a disease where your body struggles to regulate the sugar in your blood (glucose). This results in cravings for carbohydrates, fatigue and tiredness after you eat, changes to your mood such as anxiety, anger, or sadness, and sometimes blurred vision. These diabetic health issues are caused by a problem with the communication hormone called insulin, which controls the amount of sugar in your blood.

It’s estimated that over 50 percent of adults suffer from some kind of insulin resistance, which can lead to problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive impairments. Changing your diet can be an effective way to reverse insulin resistance and battle diabetes or prediabetes.

1. Potassium

When you consume this mineral, it helps your cells to take in more sugar and remove it from your blood. It works by making insulin more sensitive, the hormone responsible for controlling your blood sugars. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 people do not consume enough potassium in their diets.

Diabetics, in particular, need at least 4700mg per day to reverse any damage caused by diabetes. You can take potassium citrate as a powdered supplement and drink it in a glass of water, but you can also get it in high amounts by eating avocados, beet tops, and leafy green vegetables.

2. Vitamin B1

The second important nutrient for diabetes is Vitamin B1, more commonly known as B1 (Thiamine). It is a water-soluble nutrient that helps your cells make energy from carbohydrates and sugars. Studies show that taking benfotiamine (B1) helps 70% of diabetic patients improve symptoms of nerve damage and neuropathy, including tingling, stabbing, burning, numbness, or shooting pains in the feet and hands.

This can be taken in doses up to 600mg per day for a maximum of 6 months. Vitamin B1 helps the small energy factors in the cells (mitochondria) to generate more energy, so the nerve cells can heal and repair themselves. Good natural food sources of B1 include nutritional yeast, pork, salmon, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.

3. Chromium

Next on our list is chromium, a trace mineral needed in very tiny amounts between 25-35mcg per day. Chromium is present in foods such as broccoli, nutritional yeast, turkey, green beans, beef, and lettuce.

Studies show that getting more chromium in the diet can make insulin more sensitive to remove excess sugar in your blood. Naturally, this helps protect the endothelial layer of your arteries, reducing oxidative damage to the heart and brain. Chromium picolinate is the most bioavailable supplement form of this mineral.

4. Omega 3-s

Oily fish and fish oils contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, essential to our diet for their anti-inflammatory properties. Two crucial omega-3s are EPA and DHA, found in certain fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, rainbow trout, and tuna. Omega 3-s help to relieve diabetic pain, muscle soreness, and nerve injuries by reducing inflammation.

Two of the best supplemental sources of Omega 3-s are Arctic Krill Oil and Virgin Cod Liver Oil. Taking 2000-5000mg per day has been shown to slow the progression of neuropathy for diabetics and protect the nerves from dying or atrophying. Additionally, omega-3s have powerful benefits for the brain, eyes, skin, heart, and in controlling blood sugars.

5. Vitamin D

Did you know that high levels of mental stress can raise your blood sugars?
Stress causes our bodies to release high levels of cortisol, a hormone that converts your muscle into sugar to give you more energy. Some research suggests that long-term stress can raise the risk of developing diabetes and even worsen the disease. Vitamin D, however, helps to reduce stress by regulating cortisol production.

It’s also been shown to improve mood, lower inflammation, and strengthen the immune system against infections. Your body makes Vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun, but it’s best to take a supplement of 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day, along with 100mcg of K2. Don’t be alarmed by this high number, as this 10,000 IUs is equivalent to 250mcg (1/4 of a gram).

6. CoQ10

Co-enzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble molecule with significant health benefits for those with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. This antioxidant is found abundantly in the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands. All cells in the body need CoQ10 for their energy needs, especially the mitochondria.

In people with diabetes, the level of blood sugars (glucose) is greater than the mitochondria can handle, causing oxidation and damage throughout the body. We make less CoQ10 as we age, so we can support ourselves by getting more into our diets from organ meats, fatty fish, cauliflower, and broccoli. If you wish to take a supplement, opt for the form called ubiquinol, which is the most easily absorbed.

7. B-Vitamins

Earlier, we discussed how Vitamin B1 is essential to protect your nerves from damage when you have diabetes. The same can be said for the entire B-Vitamin complex, particularly Vitamin B6 and B12, which help to build the protective coating around nerves (myelin sheathe).

You can get supplements that contain the methylated forms of B-Vitamins; however, the best natural source is nutritional yeast flakes. Eating these often helps to alleviate nerve pain, boost energy levels, and maintain normal neurological function in your brain.

8. Soluble Fiber

When you consume vegetable fiber, it helps to feed the friendly bacteria that live in your gut and digestive system. These bacteria then release a bi-product called butyrate, which reduces insulin resistance. A scientific study showed that diets rich in soluble fiber helped to increase insulin sensitivity, lowered blood sugars, and improved cholesterol profiles in people with type 2 diabetes.

This is also very helpful in combating obesity and weight gain. Some excellent sources include chia seeds, avocados, basil seeds, raspberries, asparagus, and artichokes. Konjac fiber (glucomannan fiber) is also available in tablets at 1000mg; just make sure to drink lots of water with this product.

9. Acetic Acid

Don’t underestimate acetic acid. Diabetes can prevent your body from absorbing the right amount of nutrients from the foods you eat, including those mentioned in today’s article. The good news is that acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar helps to strengthen your stomach so that you can absorb these vitamins and minerals. Mix 1 tbsp of ACV in a glass of water and drink before each meal. This also helps to control blood sugars, support your metabolism, and promote healthy weight loss.

10. Zinc

It’s common for diabetics to suffer from blurry vision. High blood sugars cause damage to the retina and the nerve tissues in the eyes. However, if you meet your daily requirements of at least 8mg zinc for women or 11mg for men, this can help prevent retinopathy. Diabetics are always at risk of tissue death called diabetic necrosis, which usually occurs in the feet. However, zinc has been shown to help prevent this by boosting the production of glutathione, the master antioxidant made by the liver.

11. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of chemical reactions from building DNA to making your muscles contract. It’s estimated that over 50% of Americans do not consume enough magnesium to meet their daily requirements.

A deficiency in magnesium can worsen insulin resistance in diabetic patients. Getting more of this into your diet can help fight off new pain pathways and control your blood sugars.

Some of the best food sources are dark chocolate, avocados, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. You can also take it as a supplement; some of the best forms are magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate.

12. Curcumin

Last but not least, curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound well known for its pain-relieving effects. This is found in the golden-colored spice called Turmeric, heavily used in Indian cuisine. Studies show that this can prevent prediabetes from developing into diabetes because it helps to regrow beta cells in the pancreas. These cells are responsible for regulating insulin and controlling blood sugars.

If you wish, you can use turmeric to make golden milk, add it to curries, stir-fries, stews, and meat marinades. Always add black pepper too because this helps your body absorb curcumin by up to 2000% better. You can also get turmeric and black pepper capsules.

Try one or more of these 12 natural vitamins and see which works best for you. Please remember that lifestyle habits also make a huge difference. So, accompany your supplements with a healthy low-carb diet, regular exercise, and low-stress levels. Most of these vitamins are found in natural foods already in your diet, so you can start by consuming more of these.


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